Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer

Course units

Course unit - Introduction to Sociolinguistics

Code : LELA10052 (LI10051)
Credit rating: 10
Semester : 2

Links in this page :
Aims | Objectives | Assessment | Information * | Course unit content |
Course unit materials | Tutors | Timetable | Teaching methods | Keywords


This course is intended as a general survey of basic topics in sociolinguistics and sociolinguistic research methods. We will cover topics such as language variation and change, style, language attitudes, politeness, multilingualism, and explore the influence of social factors such as social class, networks, or gender on the way we speak.

Objectives (learning outcomes)

Learning outcomes: At the end of the course, students will have a thorough understanding of the social dimension of language and its implications for theoretical linguistics and applied areas, including language education and linguistic policy. Students should also be familiar with basic principles of sociolinguistic methodology that allow them to collect language data and analyse these data from a sociolinguistic perspective.

Transferable skills: Students will be able to read original research articles on sociolinguistic topics, evaluate them critically and apply their findings to similar problems. Students will be able to collect their own language data and analyze it. They will also acquire skills in the use of library and database resources for independent research.


One 45-minute written exam at the end of the semester.
Short tests on assigned readings.
Short tutorial exercises and attendance.

Nature and Timing of Feedback: Students will receive individual and immediate feedback on the reading tests provided through blackboard and global feedback on the final exam (delivered to blackboard as a handout). Tutorial exercises will be discussed in class.

Information *

NB: Introduction to Sociolinguistics is highly recommended, as it is an important prerequisite for many 2nd and 3rd year courses.

Course unit content


Course unit materials


Dr Sarah Gormley


Lecture Monday at 15.00

Teaching methods

1 hour weekly lecture, 1 hour fortnightly tutorial

Preliminary reading

Set texts: Meyerhoff, Miriam and Erik Schleef. 2010. The Sociolinguistics Reader. London and New York: Routledge.

Meyerhoff, Miriam. 2006. Introducing Sociolinguistics. London and New York: Taylor & Francis.

Recommended Texts:

Chambers, J.K. et al. eds. 2004. The Handbook of Language Variation and Change. Oxford: Blackwell.

Coulmas, Florian., ed. 1996. The Handbook of Sociolinguistics. Oxford: Blackwell.


List all course units